Third tranche of economic package to support farmers along with governance reforms
On 12th May 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to tackle the impact of COVID-19. This special economic package is equivalent to about 10 percent of India’s GDP. It includes all the previous packages announced by the government and the Reserve bank of India with new reforms and packages to make the country self-reliant. New governance includes supply chain mend for agriculture. Other factors include simple and clear laws, rational tax system, a strong financial system and capable human resources. However, the main focus of the packages are labour, land, liquidity and laws and sectors such as micro, small and medium enterprises, cottage industries and middle class working people.
On 13th and 14th May, the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced first and second the tranches of Rs 20 lakh crore package. First tranche includes funds for MSMEs, NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs while focus of second trance was migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers and the poor. She also announced that single ration card will be applied across the country and free ration will be given to those, who do not have ration card in the states they are currently residing. Announcement related to incentives for rental accommodation for migrant workers were also made.
Third tranche of 20 lakh crore announcement:
Total eleven measures were announced in the third tranche, to deal with the farm infrastructure, fisheries, agriculture and animal husbandry. However, some governance reforms were also included. Among these measures, eight measures are related to strengthening infrastructure and rest are related to governance and administrative reforms. Most of the announcement is related to the infrastructure because government wants to empower people and to make sure that India is assisted to stand up on its own through creation of skills and development in logistics sector.
During the last 2 months, the government has already announced relief packages for agriculture and dairy sector which includes Rs 74,300 crore purchase of MSP and under PM Kisan yojana and fasal bima yojana, Rs 18,700 crore and Rs 6,400 crore are transferred and claimed to farmers.
Dairy sector is already facing losses and severe difficulty as demand for milk is reduced by 20-25% during the lock down. Around 560 lakh litres of milk per day is procured by overall co-operatives. Therefore, Rs 5,000 crore liquidity funds will be given to the farmers and around 2 crore farmers will be benefited. A new scheme will provide interest subvention at 2 percent per annum for 2020-21 and 2 percent for prompt service. The government has decided to give Rs 15,000 crore for overall dairy infrastructure.
Around 800 hectare of area is been allocated to develop the corridors of medical plant near River Ganga. Rs 4,000 crore is allocated for growing herbal and medical plants which will cover ten lakh hectares of land and provide income of nearly Rs 5,000 crore to farmers.
Marine and fisheries:
Under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Samapada yojana, Rs 20,000 crore will be given to fulfil the gap between value chains and for development of the marine and inland fisheries. This will give fish production of around 70 lakh tons and produce employment to 55 lakh people in next five years. Under national animal disease control programme, Rs 13,343 crore is given for vaccinations and for eradicating foot and mouth disease.
Schemes for micro food enterprises and bee-keepers:
Government has allocated Rs 10,000 crore fund for micro food enterprises which will benefit up to 2 lakh micro food enterprises and also promote PM’s vision “ vocal for local with global outreach”. For example, Telangana can have turmeric cluster and Bihar can have Makhana cluster. To increase the income of bee-keepers, government has implemented Rs 500 crore for development of infrastructure related to bee-keeping development and storage centers and other value added facilities such as post-harvest. Around 2 lakh beekeepers will be benefitted with this scheme.
For Agri-infrastructure, the government has allocated Rs 1 lakh crore so that farm gate infrastructure such as cold chain is strengthened and Rs 500 crore for operation greens has implemented, for better price realisation for farmers. Government will amend essential commodities act and allow market force to deregulate price. The government will intervene if any emergency situation arise such as drastic hike in price or any other crisis.
Government will formulate law for farmers so that they have adequate choices to sell produce at attractive prices and ensure that there is barrier free interstate trade. Framework for e-trading agriculture products will also be made. To ensure that farmers are engaged in fair and transparent deal with processors, aggregators, large retailers and exporters government will facilitate legal framework which will include risk mitigation measures.